Every Fall there is a health fair held at work, and I go. I get my annual flu shot and blood work done as well. Usually, I’m fine. Within the acceptable range in every test, so nothing to report.
Last year, I seemed to have low white blood cell (WBC) count, but it was just below the lower end of the range, so I guess it was nothing to worry about since my doctor (who gets my results) didn’t seem to think I needed anything. Plus, this year my WBC is within the normal range, so I guess whatever it was, it’s gone now. … Now that I think about it though, I was just coming out of having the flu around that time, so that might have been why. I might have used up some of my WBC to fight the flu. Maybe?
In any case, my TSH results then were fine. I got a 2.08, which is well within the range they use at this lab (0.450-4.500), and the range that newer research shows as more acceptable (0.300-3.000) as well. So I was good. This year? Not so much. My TSH result is a whooping 6.33. Not considered normal by any counts, and labeled by all as Hypothyroidism. Which basically means that my thyroid has left the building.
I went online, of course, to see what this meant. What are the consequences to having this 6.33 score? And, symptoms? Are there symptoms? Well, as it turns out, yes, there are symptoms: dry skin, constipation, hair loss, fatigue, irregular periods, weight gain… wait! What? I have ALL of these symptoms, but I thought this was a consequence of being 40, and well, of getting old.
I thought my wonky periods were do to being closer to menopause (yeah, I know!), my hair loss due to stress, my being overly tired was because I was old, my dry skin because of winter, and my weight gain and inability to lose it due to a slowing down metabolism and laziness. Constipation? I’ve always had that, so that wasn’t even in my radar. Wait, was that TMI? Sorry.
But as it turns out, it’s not so much that I’m old and expiring, which let’s face it I am. But more so, that my thyroid decided to go into early retirement and forgot to give me its two weeks notice. I mean, I wake up in the morning after 7-8 continuous hours of sleep (sorry parents of babies of toddlers, that’s one of the perks of being childfree) and I’m tired. Who is tired in the morning? Sometimes so tired, that I need a nap around 10am. This of course can only happen on weekends, so on weekdays I power through and make it to midnight tired, without having had a nap.
I called my internal medicine doctor, and left a message asking if she could treat me for hypothyroidism, or if I should go see an endocrinologist instead. We’ll see what she recommends. I might need a thyroid test, one of those T3-T4 tests to rule out more specific thyroid problems. But for sure I’ll need hormones, since I’m not producing those.
Ah, the joys of expiring parts. The joys of getting old. But at least now I know why it’s been so hard to lose weight, and why it feels like no matter how little I eat, I still gain more of it. Ah, extra weight, damn you! But, mark my words, your days are numbered. Once those hormones kick-in, you won’t know what hit you! And ‘being tired all the time’? I’m kicking you to the curb too. Be warned.